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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bradley Johnston Quartet @ The Jazz Café. February 13.










Bradley Johnston (guitar), Peter Gilligan (keyboards), Paul Susans (double bass) & Paul Wight (drums)
(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Mike Tilley.)
Undergraduate guitar student Bradley Johnston stepped-up to the plate to lead his own quartet on a coveted Friday night date at the Jazz Café in Newcastle. If the young man felt nervous ahead of the advertised eight o’clock start it didn’t show. Johnston’s band mates were on the stand ready to go and right on time they hit the ground running with    a bright and breezy take on Wave.
Sonny Rollins’ Doxy cooked. Johnston laid down a great solo (wow!), the boys took it swing-time (Paul Susans’ walking bass line) and no one in the room had any doubts – Bradley Johnston could cut it with the best of them! A piano-guitar intro to Lover Man exuded sensitivity, as did drummer Paul Wight’s brush work. How Insensitive began as a bossa and somewhere along the line went samba and back to a bossa. 
A vigorous My Funny Valentine (‘You count it in, man’ said Wight) had the backing of the boys with Wight’s fizzing stick-work, Peter Gilligan’s superlative supporting piano and Susans’ smiling admiration for Johnston clear for all to see. Guitarist Johnston is a composer; Pat’s Waltz (referencing a major influence – the one and only Pat Metheny) could have been written by a seasoned musician. We are sure to hear more original material. The sixty minutes’ first set concluded with a raucous Moose the Mooche.
Two numbers into the second set, amidst the hottest playing of the night (a Pat Metheny composition), disaster struck as the bridge on Paul Susan’s double bass collapsed. Bull fiddle prostrate, Susans kneeling over it effecting repairs, Wight sat out as Johnston and Gilligan played an impromptu Spring is Here. Fantastic! But wait! Susans appeared to be losing the battle, the de-stringed instrument looked a terminal case. Gilligan joined bass man Susans on the floor, attempting string-to-string resuscitation. What to do? ‘Play solo, Bradley!’ And so he did. Unflustered, Bradley Johnston played But Beautiful. Amazing, say no more.
Susans and instrument stood upright (temporary repairs effected), game on. Stella By Starlight – it couldn’t get any better. Bandleader Johnston introduced his band – Peter Gilligan, Paul Susans and Paul Wight. The boys in the band made sure we knew who we were listening to…‘Bradley Johnston!’ Huge applause and then they took on Coltrane and tore it up!
Dr James Birkett had a gig of his own at the Globe (see Dean Stockdale review). He would have loved this set. Catch Bradley Johnston at a north east gig soon, because if you don’t, then in a year or two you’ll likely as not find him in London or New York.
Russell. 

2 comments :

Phillip Dougan said...

First visit to the Jazz Cafe on Friday Feb 13th 2015 and WOW what a treat! We never expected to here Jazz of this standard in the North East, My brother has travelled to London to get his fix of Jazz music for years always returning with the words when you hear real quality Jazz you will be hooked! He is right but no need to travel to London the Jazz Cafe put on a top quality band and we enjoyed every minute of it from a group of quality musicians, great night one to remember , big thanks to the Jazz Cafe and the Band.

Lance said...

Hi Phillip - so pleased you enjoyed the session at the Jazz Cafe - check it out again for the jam session on tuesday. Maybe your brother could bring some hot shots up from London - cool them down! No seriously, there is a good scene going on here in Newcastle and, if you check out our listings you may never watch TV again!

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